You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I was re-introduced to the writings of Jonathan Edwards in 1995, shortly after the Spirit of revival began to visit our church. I say re-introduced because, like many others, I first read Edwards in high school when “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was required reading. I began to read his biography that year, needless to say, my life has never quite been the same. There was one quote in that book from Edwards preaching that effected everything I have believed and preached from that day forward. Listen carefully as you read that quote for yourself.
“The enjoyment of [God] is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.”
The “enjoyment of God”, that is something I had been unfamiliar with for many years. Revival had restored that part of my life and Edwards was expressing this truth in words and in his relentless, God centered theology. I had been preaching about a good God who would give us our best life now with His blessings and gifts. Revival had brought me face to face with another kind of happiness, happiness spilling over from the other world, happiness that comes from God Himself. To enjoy God is infinitely better that all the earthly joys that this world offers, they are but streams pointing to the ocean of His love.
Maybe you have been unsatisfied in life, you can never quite get to that level of blessing and success that you think will finally bring you happiness. Today, I am asking you to reconsider, maybe you have looked to the gifts rather than the “Giver of all gifts” for your happiness. Like I did several years ago, look again to the God of our forefathers, maybe you will discover this heavenly ocean for yourself.